Over the last week I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about the murders in Isla Vista and I’ve been spending a lot of time reading tweets and essays about the #yesallwomen movement. Originally I thought I would write a furious blog post excoriating Elliot Rogers and anyone who believes that misogyny should be dismissed. But now that some time has passed I’m sick of that twisted individual and everything he represents. I never want to hear his name again. I want us to learn a lesson from him and then forget him. He does not deserve my attention.
But other people do deserve my attention. Raise a glass with me to:
Chen Yuan Hong
On April 14, three people were killed in a hate crime outside a synagogue in Kansas. Their names were:
Reat Griffin Underwood
So many people of color are shot every day that I don’t even have the space to list all their names – a fact which should outrage all of us.. According to USA Today:
In 2011, the last year for which the FBI has complete data, 1,668 blacks under the age of 22 were killed in this country. That’s more than triple the 469 American servicemen and women killed in Afghanistan that year. An average of eight children was killed each day in 2011 — and half of them were black — according to the Children’s Defense Fund.
So tonight I raise my glass to everyone who is targeted because of their skin or their economic status or their appearance.
I raise my glass to every woman who has been assaulted, threatened, patronized, or dismissed because of her gender.
I raise my glass to the women of Darfur who venture outside to gather firewood, knowing they will probably be raped and/or killed, because that’s what they have to do to keep their families alive.
I raise my glass to the missing girls of Nigeria, and to all the girls around the world who are assaulted, kidnapped, or killed simply because they want to go to school.
I raise a glass to the teachers and children who were shot to death in Newton, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. I raise my glass to every parent who found the courage to send their kids to school in December 15, 2012.
I raise my glass for every woman who dares to walk alone at night, who wears what she pleases, and who speaks her mind. I raise my glass to all women who have the courage it takes to say “no”.
I raise my glass to all the women who continue to believe in love and who have the courage to say “yes” despite the knowledge that “In recent years, 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims were killed by an intimate partner” (from The American Bar Association).
I raise my glass to all the women who have shared their stories and I raise my glass to all the men who have supported us.
I raise my glass as well to my lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, interest, and asexual fellow human beings who are targeted because of their gender identity and their sexuality.
I raise my glass to all the people I have not listed, whether in the USA or internationally, who are targeted because of race, gender, sexuality, or religion. I raise my glass to people who struggle for freedom, whether they do it by rallying in Venezuela or by refusing to stay in after dark in a city in California.
Here are some sites that are involved in activism that promotes causes including gun control and equal rights for women. Sign a petition, make a donation, vote at the ballot box and with your dollar. Check out the #yesallwomen movement on Twitter and examine your own behavior. Do a thing. Do anything. A small thing is better than no thing.